[Trying to pay] it [backward]

We were running errands as a family on Saturday, and Nate volunteered to stay in the van with the kids while I ran in to the post office to mail a package.  "I'll just run in and run out," I told him, "the lady at Cub told me nobody is EVER at this post office."




As we said in sixth grade, "Not!"

I entered the post office.  There were six people ahead of me in line, one person being helped at the counter, and one person had been sent to an empty window to fill out the correct customs form.

Also, to give you an idea...

The worker wasn't being all that helpful.
The second worker yelled at the first worker for attempting to interrupt her break.
The next lady to be helped was returning a Magic Bullet...and couldn't figure out the correct insurance to get.
The next man wanted "a ballpark idea" of how much it would cost to send his book to Boston...to which the worker didn't know how to help him because he didn't have an exact address...
The next lady got into an argument with the second worker (who was still mad about an almost-shortened break) about what exactly it meant to have the "fragile" stamp on her envelope.  

Guess how quickly the line was moving.

Enter the lady behind me.  She had been in the post office for quite some time, actually.  I didn't count, but she had at least four packages that she had been readying at the work station.  She was in a big hurry to leave...except, of course, the line was not moving.  At all.  And, oops.  She had opened up a roll of packing tape to prepare her packages...intending to purchase it.  Except, of course, the line was not moving.  

And, you can remember, she's behind me.  

And there are six people in front of me.

She asks worker number three if she can just pay for her tape.  She has to go.  She'll mail her packages another time.  Worker number three scowls and says she can not help people because she does not have a cash register open.

I look at the lady and say, "I can wait.  I'll pay for your tape for you."

After we interact some* and the lady leaves, the lady in front of me says, "All I need is one stamp."

The (new) lady behind me says, "Here!  I've got a stamp!"

Lady in front of me leaves, Lady behind me says, quite pleased, "Well!  Look at that!  We're just taking care of each others' needs here."

And, at that, I feel great.  Wasn't that $3.50 worth it?  Isn't that how people are supposed to be?  Working together?  Taking care of each others' needs?  

Plus, as an added bonus, after our interactions, the mood was substantially lighter...among the customers, at least, and it salvaged what was otherwise my absolute least favorite trip to the post office.  Ever.


*This did not go how I intended...first the lady offers to give me a $10 and keep the change, I decline and tell her not to worry- I've got it!  Then the lady makes me at least keep the tape...THAT'S NOT HOW THIS STUFF IS SUPPOSED TO GO!  I'm supposed to pay and you keep the tape!!  Sigh...


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